To answer the question, 'Is mind reading real or fake?' depends on the person doing the mind reading. Some individuals may be genuine, although probably only a small percentage, and others are fake. But I am writing on the side of 'real' because I do believe that there are some genuine mind readers.
It stands to reason that mind reading is possible. In the distant past humans had to rely on instinct and sixth sense more than they do today in-order to survive from predators and any other danger that may have arisen. It is possible that some people had mind reading skills then, even if it was only a few, so that they could alert others about problems.
If you watch pack animals and herds you can see they move in groups for survival and certain ones sometimes watch out for the good of the group. When danger presents itself the results are so swift amongst them that you can’t help wondering if they are still using senses we are unsure exist, such as mind-reading and telepathy.
It could just be that these skills have slowly died out amongst humans as we no longer need them, but still remain in a select few.
All kinds of people now present themselves as mind readers. There are some charlatans drawn to the area of the 'unknown', who prey on the insecurities and vulnerabilities of their customers in order to gain money and acclaim. Sadly, these type of people give other, genuine mind-readers a bad name and make the public suspicious and less willing to believe.
Then there are kind and gentle people who are drawn to mind-reading. They mean well but are not necessarily real mind-readers. I have met more of these than I have genuinely fake, or genuinely real mind-readers.
These people are usually vulnerable themselves and seek to help others. They forge an identity for themselves as a healer, or mind-reader and present themselves as such. They tend to stick to saying pleasant things whilst working and there-fore no one is offended. They often say what others want to hear and customers go away happy with the results of the mind-reading, but with a niggling uncertainty.
Then we come to those who are real mind-readers. These people usually don't have a set personality trait. They are genuine and so are not trying to fit in with the publics view on how a mind-reader should be. They usually discover their gift at a young age or after some traumatic event which seems to trigger their gift. They are few, amongst the many want to be mind-readers, but they do exist.